Dance of Two Cultures

In collaboration with the campus and surrounding communities, the Latin American Studies Program supports concerts, theme dinners, film screenings, symposia, service-learning projects, debates and teach-ins organized by various student organizations, faculty, campus divisions, and neighborhood associations. Every semester speakers who are experts in a field related to the courses being offered or who are directly involved with social, political, academic or cultural activities in Latin America are invited to campus. Our students are offered numerous opportunities to engage with Latino or Latin American communities in many other ways as well.

Spring 2014 Events

Making Independent Films in Cuba with Miguel Coyula, Director

Making Independent Films in Cuba with Miguel Coyula, Director

February 18, 2014 4:00 PM  – 5:30 PM
Sills Hall, Smith Auditorium

Miguel Coyula (Havana, 1977) is one of the most accomplished and internationally acclaimed Independent Filmmakers from Cuba. He is the director of several experimental short films and two feature films, Cucarachas rojas (2003) and Memorias del Desarrollo (2010), which have granted him dozens of awards. Coyula's work is aesthetically focused on exploring new ways of storytelling through digital technology, yet his films are lucid and sophisticated portrayals of a variety of historical events and political matters. Memorias, based on a novel by Edmundo Desnoes, tells the story of a Cuban intellectual who leaves "underdevelopment" behind to find himself at odds with the ambiguities of his new life as a professor in the "developed" world. The protagonist is a witness to the Cuban Revolution and the several waves of migration leaving the island from the 60's to the 80's, as well as to the attacks of September 11th in New York. Selected by the International Film Guide as the Best Cuban Film of 2011, the movie is not available in DVD or for commercial purposes. Therefore, it would be truly an exceptional opportunity for the Bowdoin community to watch this film in the context of the "World Cinema Film Screenings."

Coyula's visit will also include a workshop titled "Making Independent Films in Cuba," open to students, faculty and community members with interest in filmmaking (February 18, Smith Auditorium, 4 pm).

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World Cinema Film Festival: "Please Vote For Me"

World Cinema Film Festival: "Please Vote For Me"

February 22, 2014 7:00 PM  – 9:00 PM
Visual Arts Center, Kresge Auditorium

Bowdoin's World Cinema Film Festival offers a varied program of important contemporary narrative and documentary films from around the world with post-screening discussions moderated by faculty and students.

Please Vote for Me (Weijun Chen, China, 2007) is presented by Shu-chin Tsui (Asian Studies).

A democratic experiment is happening in central China's most populous city: third-grade students are electing a class monitor. Their experience reveals the sacrifices and benefits required by democracy's implementation.

Trailer

For more information, contact the Film Studies Program at (207) 725-3552.

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World Cinema Film Festival: "Blancanieves"

World Cinema Film Festival: "Blancanieves"

February 23, 2014 7:00 PM  – 9:00 PM
Visual Arts Center, Kresge Auditorium

Bowdoin's World Cinema Film Festival offers a varied program of important contemporary narrative and documentary films from around the world with post-screening discussions moderated by faculty and students.

Blancanieves (Pablo Berger, Spain, 2012) is presented by Elena Cueto-Asin (Romance Languages), Tricia Welsch (Film Studies), Birgit Tautz (German), and MacMillan House. This wonderfully eerie silent film treat and Oscar nominee  recasts Snow White as a talented bullfighter in 1920s southern Spain.

A post-screening reception will be provided by the students of MacMillan House.

Official Trailer

For more information, contact the Film Studies Program at (207) 725-3552.

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Power and Survival: The Untold Story of Slave Drivers in the British Caribbean

Power and Survival: The Untold Story of Slave Drivers in the British Caribbean

March 24, 2014 4:30 PM  – 6:00 PM
Moulton Union, Lancaster Lounge

Dr. Randy Browne, Assistant Professor of History at Xavier University in Ohio, will lecture on a topic that most historians of slavery have overlooked - the role of slave drivers on plantations. 

"Drivers, who were ubiquitous on New World plantations, had one of the most difficult and most important jobs in Atlantic slave societies", and despite that, and "their importance in running plantations and shaping the daily lives of other enslaved people, little is known about them, especially in the Caribbean."


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Mayra Santos-Febres: Postcolonial Delusions - The Caribbean and Global Dissolution

Mayra Santos-Febres: Postcolonial Delusions - The Caribbean and Global Dissolution

March 26, 2014 7:00 PM  – 9:00 PM
Visual Arts Center, Kresge Auditorium

Mayra Santos-Febres is one of the most versatile authors in the contemporary Caribbean literary scene and the first Latin American Afra-Hispanic literary celebrity. A PhD graduate from Cornell, and a professor at the University of Puerto Rico, Santos-Febres is a poet, novelist, blogger and critic, as well an active public voice promoting literature as a means for decolonization. She has published the novels Sirena Selena vestida de pena (2000), Cualquier miercoles soy tuya (2002), Nuestra senora de la noche (2006), and Fe en disfraz (2009) (all translated in English), several collections of poetry, volumes of essays and short stories. Her writing and public engagement make her emblematic of her generation of Latin American writers, shuttling between the traditionally intellectual arena and the popular culture scene. Santos-Febres is the recipient of several international awards, and has been a visiting professor at Harvard and Cornell University.

Santos-Febres' unique poetic universe is populated by marginalized and itinerant characters, such as transvestites and sex-workers, whose fictional voices both embody and challenge the global fantasies around the Caribbean and its people. Both in her fiction and scholarly work the author addresses the colonial legacy on the Caribbean, and the region's ongoing relation to the Global North, main themes of her public presentation at Bowdoin. She will also lead a Creative Writing Workshop with students (Wednesday, March 26, 4 pm at Sills 117). For more information please contact Nadia Celis (ncelis@bowdoin.edu).

The event is hosted by the Department of Romance Languages and co-sponsored by the Programs of Latin American Studies, Africana Studies, the English Department, the McKeen Center for Common Good and Lectures and Concerts.

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Wyatt Earp: A Vigilante Life

Wyatt Earp: A Vigilante Life

March 27, 2014 7:00 PM  – 10:00 PM
Hubbard Hall, Room 208 Thomas F. Shannon Room

Join Andrew C. Isenberg, historian of the American environment, the American West, and the encounter between natives and settlers, to discuss his recently published book, Wyatt Earp: A Vigilante Life (2013). A popular culture icon, Earp remains a legendary hero and a "beacon of rough justice in the tumultuous American West" in cinematic battles against organized crime in the 1930s, communism in the 1950s, and, most recently, al-Qaeda. Yet as Isenberg uncovers in his book, the Hollywood Earp is largely fictionalized-and imagined by Earp himself. As Earp tried to reinvent his reputation and cover up his lawless past, Isenberg writes, "He donned and shucked off roles readily, whipsawing between lawman and lawbreaker, and pursued his changing ambitions recklessly, with little thought to the cost to himself, andto others."
An engrossing account of the man and his enduring legend, Wyatt Earp: A Vigilante Life is a resounding biography of a quintessential American figure that questions the way in which individuals, with the help of Hollywood, can rewrite their own legacy.
Join Professor Isenberg on Thursday, March 27 at 7:00 PM in the Shannon Room (second floor, Hubbard hall) at Bowdoin College. This lecture is sponsored by the Bowdoin College Lectures and Concerts fund and the Department of History, with support from Biology, Environmental Studies, Government and Legal Studies.

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Discussion and Screening of "The Garden" with Director Scott Kennedy Hamilton

Discussion and Screening of  "The Garden" with Director Scott Kennedy Hamilton

March 31, 2014 7:30 PM  – 9:30 PM
Sills Hall, Smith Auditorium

Scott Hamilton Kennedy comes to Bowdoin for a discussion and screening of his 2008 Oscar-nominated documentary The Garden. Kennedy's film tells the story of South Central Farm, a community garden and urban farm in Los Angeles. When the landowner decides he no longer wants the farm on his property, the working class families who created and work on South Central Farm protest - confronting a web of backroom land development deals, green politics, and corruption.

Indiewire says of The Garden: "(the film) exposes the fault lines in American society and raises crucial and challenging questions about liberty, equality, and justice for the poorest and most vulnerable among us."

Includes appearances by Danny Glover, Daryl Hannah, Willie Nelson, and Joan Baez.

The Garden website

Sponsored by Lectures and Concerts, the Film Studies Program, the Environmental Studies Program, the Latin American Studies Program, the Center for the Common Good, the Africana Studies Program, and the English Department.

Contact the Film Studies Program at 725-3552 for more information.

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Criminal Births: Infanticide, Stillbirth and the Rio de Janeiro Police, 1890-1940

Criminal Births: Infanticide, Stillbirth and the Rio de Janeiro Police, 1890-1940

April 17, 2014 4:00 PM  – 5:30 PM
Edward Pols House, Conference Room

During Brazil's First Republic (1889-1930) and into the early Vargas era (1930-1937) in the capital city of Rio de Janeiro, police were involved in poor women's reproductive lives. Scholars studying women's reproductive practices in Brazil during that time period have conducted narrow examinations of legal documents pertaining to abortion, infanticide, and child abandonment. On the contrary, Cassia Roth ('08) will demonstrate that police investigations conflated fertility control practices such as abortion and infanticide with non-criminal occurrences like miscarriage and stillbirth. She will delineate the expansion of a de facto criminality surrounding practices related to and often confused with fertility control under the 1890 Penal Code (1890-1940) and contend that the police investigated the unfortunate but common occurrences of stillbirths as possible infanticides. Drawing on police investigations of infanticide, stillbirths, and birth-related infant deaths in Rio de Janeiro, Cassia argues that the state's incursion into poor women's reproductive lives transformed events like a difficult delivery or a stillbirth into potential crimes.

Join us for this lecture
Thursday, April 17, 4:15 pm
Edward Pols House Seminar Room


Cassia Roth '08 is a Ph.D. Candidate in History, UCLA

Free and open to the public. Sponsored by the Latin American Studies Program, Gender and Women's Studies Program, and the History Department.

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Spanish Fascism and the Spectacle of Garcia Lorca's Missing Corpse (Carmen Moreno Nuño)

Spanish Fascism and the Spectacle of Garcia Lorca's Missing Corpse (Carmen Moreno Nuño)

April 21, 2014 7:30 PM  – 10:00 PM
Moulton Union, Main Lounge

Professor Carmen Moreno Nuño, University of Kentucky, focuses on the memory of the Spanish Civil War, which has become a central topic in Spain in the twenty-first century, generating a very heated public debate. Taking as a point of departure a new concept of memory that conceives of it as a contested site, she develops an analysis of the press (440 articles) released around the failed opening of poet Federico García Lorca's grave in 2009-10. García Lorca's death, which epitomizes the horror of Fascism, is one of the most intriguing mysteries of the twentieth century. The failed opening of his alleged grave illustrates how memory has become a site of contestation, as the meaning of the missing corpse and its emblematic status is displaced by a new discourse that turns the opening of the grave into a spectacle, constraining and encapsulating the elusive myriad of meanings that surround Lorca's dead body into a simplified (and politically non-threatening) discursive construction.

Sponsored by the Department of Romance Languages.

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The Grassroots Gang: Politics, Violence, and Development in a Haitian Ghetto

The Grassroots Gang: Politics, Violence, and Development in a Haitian Ghetto

April 23, 2014 5:00 PM  – 6:00 PM
Visual Arts Center, Beam Classroom

The Grassroots Gang: Politics, Violence, and Development in a Haitian Ghetto

Please join us as Dr. Kivland explores the relationship between street gangs, grassroots community politics, the state, and international development and aid organizations in Port-au-Prince Haiti.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014
5:00 pm
VAC Beam


Chelsey Kivland is the McKennan Postdoctoral Fellow at Dartmouth College and is a cultural and political anthropologist who studies street politics and violence in urban Haiti. Her writing has appeared in the Journal of Haitian Studies, Political and Legal Anthropology Review, and Cultural Anthropology, and she is currently preparing a book entitled "Street Sovereigns: Politics, Violence, and Development in Urban Haiti."

Sponsored by: the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Latin American Studies, and the Charles F. Adams Lectureship Fund.

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Human Trafficking Q&A

Human Trafficking Q&A

April 24, 2014 12:00 PM  – 1:00 PM
Thorne Hall, Pinette Dining Room

June Guo will share insights from her recent experience attending the Not Here conference on Human Trafficking. She will be joined by a panel of faculty and other concerned students to answer questions, examine the local and global dimensions of the problem, and discuss what Bowdoin can do to make a difference on this issue.

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